Global TV broadcast engineer Stephanie Ehmann with the rackmounted OCTiMAX
5.1 Digital Television Audio Processors.
Linear Acoustic recently supplied seven OCTiMAX 5.1 Digital Television Audio Processors to Global TV, one of Canada's three national networks, for installation within a new national master control facility in Calgary, Alberta. Six units provide multichannel processing for six dedicated network feeds: two for Ontario, one for Manitoba, two for Alberta and one for British Columbia. The seventh system is patchable for handling 5.1-channel satellite and related feeds. In addition to controlling multichannel audio levels for the network's HD broadcasts, the OCTiMAX units also handle stereo-to-5.1-channel up-mixing of legacy 2-channel material.
The order was fulfilled by Sonotechnique PJL Inc., which handles Canadian service and support for Linear Acoustic products from the firm's offices in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal.
Global TV serves a total of five time zones using locally generated material in addition to programming from U.S. based networks, including NBC, CBS, Fox and ABC. Global TV's specialty networks comprise COOL TV, DejaView, Fox Sports World, Lonestar, MENTV, Mystery, TVTropolis and Xtreme Sports.
Combining multichannel, multiband dynamic audio processing with a stereo-to-5.1-channel up-mixer, OCTiMAX 5.1 accepts a conventional stereo analog or digital signal and produces fully mono- and stereo-compatible, 5.1-channel output audio. A proprietary Auto Voiceover feature allows straightforward insertion of voice-over audio, while UpMax—a user-selectable, 2-channel-to-5.1-channel up-mixer with full control of center width and surround depth—enables local and network audio to be transformed into 5.1 audio. The resulting signal is fully mono, stereo and matrix surround compatible.
The systems were installed in August 2006. According to Global TV's engineering director for its National Broadcast Center, Dan Gold, they have proven to be a "good solution." Global TV is using the systems "to control overall multichannel audio levels and also, under [programmable] GPI command from our Harris automation system, to up-mix stereo to 5.1-channel. The units work well for us."
Regarding Global TV's equipment choice, Gold says that "OCTiMAX was the only unit we could find that could provide both functions—multichannel dynamics control and up-mixing—in a single package. Also, Linear Acoustic staff and sales people have been very helpful in answering our many technical questions, and getting back to us quickly so that we can get decisions made."